Bobby Charlton ‘One Of The Best’, Says Ex-United Teammate

England’s manager Gareth Southgate (L) walks with former England player Bobby Charlton as they attend a ceremony to rename the training pitch at St George’s Park on October 2, 2017.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

Manchester United great Denis Law has hailed Bobby Charlton as “one of the best players ever” ahead of his former teammate’s 80th birthday this week.

Charlton, who scored 49 goals in 106 appearances for England, was part of the World Cup-winning side in 1966 and his all-time appearance and scoring records at Old Trafford have only been eclipsed in recent years.

The late George Best, Charlton and Law — United’s “Holy Trinity” — scored 665 goals between them for the club and Law relished playing alongside Charlton as much as he admired the man himself.

“What a fantastic player, what a fantastic guy,” the former Scotland striker said ahead of Charlton’s birthday on Wednesday. “He deserves everything he has been awarded. He is one of the best players ever.

“We’ve always had connections along the way. You never forget people like Sir Bobby.

“It’s just that he’s done so much for his country, done so much for United. He’s probably one of the best known around the world.

“Don’t forget, the television wasn’t about in those days like it is today so the fact that he is known all around the world just shows how great a player and person he is.”

Law especially admires how Charlton stood strong after surviving the 1958 Munich disaster, in which eight of his United team-mates perished.

“The Munich disaster rebounded right around the world and, you know, you just think ‘dear, dear, it’s just so close — I must go and see these guys’,” said Law, who was then playing for Huddersfield and went to United’s first match after the tragedy.

Law, 77, also credits Charlton for helping him to his own exceptional United goals tally of 237 in 404 matches, which places him third on the club’s all-time list.

“When Bobby had the ball I knew where it was going,” Law said.

“He had such a strong shot, really, that when he was outside the penalty area lining up for a crack at the goal — I knew that the keeper might save it, but there was a fair chance he might drop it because it was (hit) so hard.

“Every day Bobby was there, I was lining up to sort of pick up the scraps.

“Right enough, five out of 10 times the goalkeeper would drop the ball for me and I’d just need to knock it into the back of the net.

“We had a good relationship. For what he has achieved, he has never changed at all. He’s one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet.”

AFP

Rooney Equals Charlton’s Record As Manchester United Thrash Reading 4-0

Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Reading, FA Cup, Bobby CharltonEnglish Forward Wayne Rooney has equaled the record of Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer previously set by Sir Bobby Charlton.

The 31-year-old made the feat on Saturday when he nettedĀ the opener in an FA Cup match against Reading.

Anthony Martial consequently added a second eight minutes later as his side dominated the first half.

Marcus Rashford netted the third before doubling his tally after a horrible error by Reading keeper, Ali Al Habsi.

It was a happy day for the hosts at the Old Trafford, as they ease to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory in a match witnessed by Sir Charlton whose record had stood since 1973.

With the goal, the England captain now has 249 goals in 543 games, reaching the landmark of 215 matches and four seasons quicker than his predecessor.

He had also exceeded Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals in 2015 and has since taken his tally to 53.

Townsend Scores As England Draw With Italy

EnglandTottenham winger, Andros Townsend, came off the bench to produce a late equaliser for England in a 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin on Tuesday.

Southampton striker, Graziano Pelle’s header looked to have put Italy on course for victory in the first-half of the friendly against England.

The English side on the other hand, struggled to get to grips with the changes made by manager, Roy Hodgson, after Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier win against Lithuania.

By the introduction of several substitutes, the Tottenham winger’s rising 20-yard drive 11 minutes from time, gave England a draw in the second-half.

Hodgson’s side then ended the game on top and only a fine save from Buffon stopped England captain, Wayne Rooney – who had earlier hit the bar – from adding to his total of 47 goals for his country and closing even further on Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record of 49.

The experiment of using Phil Jones in midfield failed miserably and he reverted to defence when Chris Smalling went off ill just before half-time.

Correspondingly, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, was also misused in a forward role rather than on the wing.

Hodgson said after the match, “I’m really happy with our second half, I thought we were the better team. That’s pleasing in the sense that under (Antonio) Conte, Italy are a strong team.

“We’re missing a few players and when they’re available, we have a few more options.”